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Batsirai Intensifies And Could Affect Over 595,000 People In Madagascar

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Batsirai has become an intense tropical cyclone since yesterday evening, around 9:00 pm, while it is still nearly 900 km from the Malagasy coast. This intensification of forces means that the system has become more dangerous than ever and could be more devastating than its predecessors, especially for the Big Island which will be its main destination if it only skims Mauritius and Reunion today.

The system is expected to hit Madagascar on Saturday around 3 pm or on Saturday night at the latest, between Mananjary and Mahanoro. A green alert has already been issued for several regions and districts from Antalaha to Taolagnaro. The system could also affect the regions Analanjirofo, Atsimo Atsinanana, Anosy, Vatovavy, Fitovinany, Analamanga and Vakinankaratra before its exit at sea, Sunday or Monday, in the Mozambique Channel.

Batsirai brings with it wind gusts of up to 220 km/h, according to a forecaster of Meteo Madagascar while the system was still at the stage of a tropical cyclone. The size of its diameter is 300 km which could make it a much more devastating cyclone. The speed of its movement is 17 km/h on average.

Batsirai Cyclone - Madagascar

The National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) estimates that more than 595,000 people will be affected by Batsirai. More than 140,000 people could also be displaced in the cities and regions it will pass through, predicts John Herimiandry Razafimandimby, director of the BNGRC’s Center for Studies, Reflection, Monitoring and Orientation (Cervo).

This forecast is the result of the analysis of the intensity of the cyclone, its trajectories and experiences in terms of bad weather, explains this official at the BNGRC who, during a press conference held yesterday, did not fail to sensitize the population to prepare for any eventuality. On the side of the State, the accommodation sites to accommodate the possible victims are already ready and the necessary materials for rescue operations are available.

In view of the strengths of this system, the BNGRC recommends that local and regional authorities take the necessary measures to protect the population. In particular, the BNGRC would like to see schools closed, but this decision is up to the Ministry of Education. It also warns users of the RN2 and RN12 about the possible cuts that the rains could cause on these two roads.

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